By His Grace and In His Word Ministries has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.


What's for Dinner Tonight?

It’s 5:00 in the afternoon. Your spouse will be home soon, the kids are rummaging through the snack cabinet trying to find something to eat before they kill over dead from starvation, the dog is carrying around an empty food bowl because she too is hungry, and you have absolutely NO idea what you are going to fix for dinner.

So, what’s a girl to do?...

Join me today over At the Well and let's make a plan for dinner tonight.

At the Well Blog Button


P.S. I Love You

I was getting ready for church this morning and received a special message from the Lord. As I sat down my make-up sponge I noticed something on the back of it and heard a still small voice whisper in my ear, "I love you and I think you are BEAUTIFUL!"

"The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord."
Psalm 45:11, NIV


How to Study Your Bible, Part 2

Today I want to share with you step-by-step how I have studied through James 1:1-12. Before you begin any study of God's Word, spend time in prayer asking Him to give you clarity of mind, understanding of His Word, and a willingness to obey what He teaches you.

1. I began by reading through the passage several times. The more I read a passage the more familiar it becomes. As I read through these twelve verses I made observations of the text. I wrote down things that stood out to me. For instance, all trials should be entered into with a joyous heart; humility is exaltation in God's eyes, etc.

2. I prayed asking the Lord to reveal to me a verse that He would have me commit to memory. For this section of Scripture I memorized James 1:2-4. I use spiral bound index cards for my Scripture memory verses.

3. I made an outline for these verses. Why? Because it helps me summarize and understand the main thoughts. My outline for James 1:1-12-
1:1- James sends greetings to the twelve tribes.
1:2-4- Trials/ testing bring about patience- patience brings about humility.
1:5-8- Godly wisdom is given when one asks for it in faith.
1:9-11- Humility is exaltation in God's eyes.
1:12- Believers who endure trials, temptations, testings, are truly blessed of God.

4. As I read through the text again I began asking questions of the passage. Some of my questions were:
~what is a bond servant?
~what is patience?
~why is humility important in God's eyes?
~who were the twelve tribes? why were they scattered abroad?
Great questions to ask of any text are who is involved, what's going on, when is it happening, where is it happening, and why is it happening?

5. Once I read through the text several times, made observations, an outline, and asked questions I began doing an expository study of the passage; this means I studied through each verse one-by-one. As I studied through each verse I looked up the definitions of words in the original Greek language that I found intriguing. I used cross references to investigate what other Scriptures had to say about the verses in James. I also used my commentaries to help me get a better grasp on thoughts that I might not be getting a good grasp on.

6. After spending several days digging deeper into the first twelve verses of James chapter one, I began asking the Lord to show me practical ways I could apply what I was learning to my own life. It's very important that we apply what we are learning to our lives; we are to flesh out what God is teaching us, not just hear, but hear and obey.

In a nutshell this is how I have studied through James 1:1-12. I use this same method with any text that I study through. I pray this helps you in your study of God's Word. Please let me know if I can serve you in any way or if you have any questions. Happy digging into God's Word.


How to Study the Bible, Part 1

I've had several ladies ask me lately "how do I study the Bible?"; "how do I dig deeper into the Word on my own?" I can't even begin to tell you how much it thrills my soul to see women with a hunger and desire to dig deeper into God's Word on their own. Why? Because it was and still is His Word that transforms my life daily.

There are many different ways, plans, and/or methods that can be used as guide as you begin studying God's Word on your own. Some, I think, are better than others, but all are meant to be used as a GUIDE. As you study God's Word it's so very important that you allow Him to be your main guide and teacher.

Today, I'd like to share with you what I have found through the years that works best for me. I have taken ideas and formats from many different sources and put them together to use as my own personal "Bible Study Guide."

Before we begin I do want to say that I believe Bible Study and Quiet Time to be two totally different things. Quiet time for me, is a more intimate, personal, relational time with the Lord. This is a time for me to meditate upon Scripture, pray, and journal. During my quiet time I may use a devotion book like Daily Light or a Bible reading plan. Although my quiet times may last for an extended amount of time, I'm not digging in commentaries, lexicons, books, or dictionaries; I'm simply sitting at the foot of the cross allowing the Lord to speak to my heart. For more on how to have a "Quiet Time" click here.

What does it mean to do "Bible study"? Webster's dictionary defines "study" in the following way: to engage in study; to undertake formal study of a subject; to read in detail especially with the intention of learning; to consider attentively or in detail. When you and I approach Bible study we are to do so with the mindset and heart set of literally engaging the very details of God's Word with the intended purpose of learning more about who He is and how we are to live are lives. Bible study is an in depth, fact finding research of God's Word.

In beginning a personal Bible study I first pray asking the Lord to show me what it is He wants me to study through- a particular book of the Bible, a certain passage of Scripture, a particular character, an area in my life where I seem to be struggling, etc. Sometimes I very quickly receive direction from Him, other times it may take several days, maybe even weeks; no matter how long it takes, it is important to seek His direction for your study.

Once I have clear direction from the Lord I begin gathering the tools I will need to dig deeper into His Word. Some of my very favorite tools are:

~John MacArthur Study Bible

~Expositor's Bible Commentaries

~Bible Knowledge Commentaries

~Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

~Holman Bible Dictionary

~The Complete Word Study Old Testament and New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates

And of course you will need a notebook, pens and highlighters, and index cards.

There are many other dictionaries, commentaries, and books that I use; above are just a few of my favorites. You don't have to buy all these books if you don't want to; many of them can be found online for free. I have downloaded E-Sword onto my computer. This program has many different components- most are free, others have a very minimal charge compared to what you would pay at a bookstore. I highly recommend it!

Now, to dig in. Because I have recently studied through the book of James, I will use it as our example of how I dig deeper into the Word.

The book of James is made up of five chapters. There is no way you could study through five chapters all at the same time so what do you do? You go chapter by chapter. When you look at each chapter, you'll notice they contain fifteen or more verses. Should you try to tackle all the verses in one day? For me, I accomplish more if I break down each chapter into sections. How do I do that you ask? Most Bibles have sub-headings throughout each chapter; use this verse breakdown as your guide. I have broken James chapter 1 down into three sections: James 1:1-12; James 1:13-18; James 1:19-27.

Today, I'm going to stop here. I've given you a lot and I want you to have time to take it all in. I pray that the information I have shared thus far is clear and understandable to you. Keep in mind, as you study you will develop your own style and method. Please don't let this overwhelm you. I encourage you to begin by taking baby steps. With each step you take you WILL go farther and deeper into God's Word. Tomorrow I'll share with you step by step what I have done with James 1:1-12. Until then, start now praying about what God would have you study.


Big Cursive Letters

"Mom, when can I learn how to make big cursive letters?," my 9 year old daughter asked.

"Your book wants you to learn how to make the lower case letters first. Once you know how to make those, then you will learn how to make the capital letters," I replied.

"21) His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful
servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter
into the joy of your master.' "
Matthew 25:21, ESV

Be faithful in what the Lord has given you today and prepare your heart for the bigger blessings that are to come.


A Gathering at the Well

Today at The Well we are spending some time examining the motives that lie behind the things we do. Laurie has asked some tough, convicting questions. Her main question to us is "what is the real underlying motive for all of the good stuff that you do?"

Hummmm. Tough question, huh? I'm sure we could all sugarcoat our answers and make them sound really "spiritual". But, let's not do that; let's peer down deep into the depths of our hearts; let's put our heart's right next to the heart of God and see if we are truly reflecting His character.

"3) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9) Blessed are the peacemakers, or they will be called sons of God. 10) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12) Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Matthew 5:3-12, NIV

Jesus had a purpose for leading His disciples up the mountain that day. After teaching, preaching, and healing those in Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan I think it's fair to say the disciples may have been thinking, "We've signed up for a pretty good gig. Look at all these people following us. This is amazing. Their gonna write books about us." Jesus knowing that the men He had chosen didn't quite get it yet, led them up the mountain for a Heart Reconstruction 101. Jesus wanted these fishers of men to see and hear and know His heart.

The heart of Jesus Christ was truly humble, it was broken over the sins of the world; His heart was self-controlled; Jesus desired to please the heart of God through living a life of obedience to His Father; He was and is merciful, pure, and holy; He was and is the author of and giver of a peace that passes all understanding; Christ was persecuted because of the stand that He took; all kinds nasty, hateful things were said about Him. When all was said and done, Christ knew why He did what He did- it wasn't to gain the accolades of men, but to please His Father in heaven.

There have been occasions where I have done things, said things, and acted certain ways in order to be recognized or gain someone elses approval. God always seem to quickly knock me to my knees when this happens. He reminds me that I am nothing a part from Him; everything I am and everything I have is all because of Him and graciousness upon my life.

When those times of selfishness and vain conceit begin to rear their ugly heads I claim Galatians 1:10.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please
men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."
Galatians 1:10, NIV

My purpose, goal, aim in life is not to gain the approval of men or women, but to live a life that is pleasing and glorifying to my Savior. I want to reflect the heart of Jesus in all that I do and say.


My Moment

The morning started off without a hitch. I managed to spend some awesome time with the Lord while sipping on a great cup of coffee, get my shower- dry hair AND put on make-up, start a load of laundry, pick up the living room a bit, send hubs off to work, and get breakfast going all before the kiddos woke up- that, my friends, is an accomplishment!

And then it happened- I had a "moment". Right smack dab in the middle of the apple cinnamon oatmeal, I had myself a moment. It appears that my baby girl is no longer a "baby" anymore. Bites one and two of her bowl of oatmeal she took with no problem. The protesting began with bite number three. She, Miss Independence, DID NOT want mommy to feed her; SHE WANTED to do it HERSELF. WHAT!?!?!? But, mommy HAS to feed you, you are my BABY! Oh, no! She would have none of that; she was not going to eat unless SHE could feed herself. Hence, my moment.

As my baby sat there feeding herself her breakfast I reminisced over how quickly the time has gone by since her birth. It seems like only yesterday I was sitting on my bed with some gosh-awful contraption attached to my "girls" pumping that all important milk that every baby MUST have and then storing it nin the fridge until the next feeding time. She had to have me then by golly! Momma was a must! We passed that infancy stage very quickly and moved into the adding cereal and baby foods stage, but she still needed me to feed her with a spoon. Because she eats like a horse and seems to grow an inch every day, we quickly moved onto bit sizes pieces of food that she could get her little chubby fingers around and slowly, but surely, find that whole on her face and shove in the food. But she needed me then too, cause someone had to cut up the food.

Well, now- now it seems that she can eat a banana without it having to be cut into fourths and she can eat whole grapes, which she picks off the stem herself, and she can eat a whole piece of bread and she can feed herself her own bowl of apple cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast. Oh, I think I might have another moment! My baby isn't so much of a baby anymore. ARGHHHHH!!!

So, I had my moment and then I had a revelation. Hello!?! This is exactly what she is supposed to be doing. She is supposed to be growing and learning to do things on her own. She was born to grow!

And so it is, my friends, with the Christian life- we are re-born to grow; to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God. We are re-born to grow more in love with Him every day of our lives. As we grow in Him our desires should change from needing a little milk to craving more and more and more the meat of the Word.

"For everyone who partakes of only milk, is unskilled in the
word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are
of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to
discern both good and evil."
Hebrews 5:13 & 14, NKJV

What is it that your soul is craving today? It's time that we trade in our bottles for a platter of prime rib!


Are You Willing to Give it Up?

There were three happy meals; two of them contained the same cheap, soon to fall apart toy found in most happy meals, but the other toy seemed to be new and improved and a must have for every child. To keep the peace among the kiddos, my husband gave the older two the same toy and hid the new and improved toy safely away from greedy eyes and hands.

As we packed up to leave, hubby called the kiddos over to our table, "which one of you are willing to give me your toy?"

"Huh?", replied my son.

"Which one of you will give me your toy?", hubs said again.

As my daughter sat there in silence thinking through what her daddy was asking her, my son quickly responded, "I'm not giving you my toy. It's mine."

Finally she spoke up, "I'll give you my toy Dad," was the response of this 9 year old child to her daddy.

For all she knew, she was giving up her cheap, yet precious in her eyes, toy to her daddy with nothing expected in return. She handed it over; not begrudgingly, but willingly placing it into the hands of her daddy, letting go of the toy she had once thought was the best happy meal toy she had ever gotten.

Much to her surprise, and to the surprise of us all, her daddy reached into a bag, pulled out the new and improved, must have happy meal toy, and placed it into her little hands. "Because you were willing to give me your toy, I am giving you something better," was the reply of her daddy.

Whoa! I did not expect that. I sat there for a moment and then it hit me. Like my son, we all hold onto things, unwilling to give them up because they are OURS and we can't imagine our lives without them. We are selfish creatures, unwillingly to let go due to the fear of being without. Little do we know that most of what we are clinging to pales in comparison to what the Father desires to give us. God has new and improved, state of the art blessings awaiting you and me. The key is that we must be willing to let go of the cheap, second rate toy, in order to receive the greatness of His rewards.

I ask you today, as I've asked myself already, what are you holding onto that is hindering you from receiving God's best for your life? Are you willing to let it go so that you can receive His bountiful blessings?

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and
comes down from the Father of lights, with
whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
James 1:17, NKJV


A Gathering at the Well

Today is the official launch of At the Well...In Pursuit of Titus 2. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, you will definitely want to hop on over and take a look- you will not be disappointed!

For today's "Gathering at the Well", the following questions have been asked to us:

~When you read the Scripture found in Titus 2: 2-5,
how do you see this playing out in your own life?~
~What are your areas of strength? Of weakness?~
~If you could set some sort of goal in relation to this
Scripture, what would it be?~
"2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."
Titus 2:2-5, NKJV
Wow! What a list of characteristics that the daughters of the Most High God are to be living out- we are to be sober, reverent, and temperate; sound (meaning healthy in...) in faith , love, and patience; we are to behave in a godly way; we are not to be involved in any form of slander or gossip; we are not to be controlled by wine, but instead be filled with the Spirit of God; we are to teach what is good, right, noble and pure (Philippians 4:8). By our own examples of godliness and living out God's working in our lives, we are to instruct those whom God has placed in our lives in how to love and submit to their own husbands, in how to love and train up their children in the ways of the Lord, and in how to keep and maintain an organized home that is centered on and founded on God. We are to live in this manner so that God will be honored and glorified through our lives.
Is it easy to be all this things? NO! Is it possible to live our lives in this manner? YES! But, only through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must daily submit to His authority in our lives and let Him lead and guide our decisions, actions, and reactions for the day.
~My area of weakness and my goal~
I struggle the most with being patient. By nature I'm just not a patient person. I like things done and I like them done now! (oh, and I like them done my way- not so good either!) Although I might not always like the method or the manner in which He chooses to teach me, the Lord is teaching me to rely on Him and His ways so much more than on myself and my plans. God is teaching me that His ways are much greater than my own and His plan will benefit me more than anything I could ever concoct for myself. My prayer/ goal is to continue to seek out Scriptures that speak to and about patience and commit them to memory. I also prayer that I will heed to leading of the Holy Spirit and live my life in His power and not my own.
Gather with other sisters in the Lord around the Well today as we encourage and pray for one another!

Gathering At the Well